The Kalkaska County Sheriff says a child made the tragic 911 call, to report that another child – a five year old boy – had been shot. Kalkaska Co. Sheriff Pat Whiteford says, “Central dispatch received a 911 call, saying that a 5-year-old child had been shot. And deputies and EMS responded.”
We told you about this tragedy Monday night on 9&10 News – what appears to be an accidental shooting of a 5-year-old boy in Kalkaska County. It happened Monday in the northern end of Kalkaska County.
The sheriff’s office says eight children between the ages of 5 and 15 were at the home near Mancelona, when somehow, a gun went off. The shot struck a five year old boy in the head, killing him. “EMS worked on the child for quite some time and did everything they could to revive him but he was pronounced deceased at the scene.” Whiteford says.
The Sheriff says they are conducting interviews with all of the children to try to determine exactly what happened. But he adds it is – and will continue to be – a long process. “That’s what we’re still trying to sort out – the exact details on who did what. Who was right there in the room, who witnessed what.”
The Sheriff says investigators believe another child was holding the gun when it went off. Whether the gun was loaded before the incident started is part of their investigation. The sheriff says it’s also not clear whether the children were playing with the weapon, showing it off, or how the incident unfolded. “The detectives and sergeants are combing through that right now trying to piece everything together on the details of what exactly led up to the incident and through the incident at this point,” Whiteford says.
“The older kids seemed to be in charge of the younger kids. The interviews – with not only the teenagers but the parents – we want to make sure we have the full picture and the full details,” Whiteford says. “It makes your heart sink and your stomach sink. Most people relate back to their own families. And what an unimaginable tragedy it was.
“My heart goes out to obviously the victim, his family, all those kids that were in the trailer. Because what a horrific thing to have to experience and be a part of.” Sheriff Whiteford says the children were interviewed with the help of the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center in Traverse City.
While the Sheriff says the investigation continues, the tragedy serves as a reminder to all parents to teach your kids about gun safety. “It’s a tragedy. Be conscious if you’re a gun owner. Be careful. Educate your kids and your friend’s kids if they’re not gun owners. And just think safety all of the time. Get it in the minds of the kids that you have to be safe around guns, whether real or fake.”
The Sheriff also reminds the community that free gun locks are available.
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